eMedinewS Editorial

Health Care 187 Comments

rtPA may prevent dialysis catheter infections

Replacing heparin with rtPA in dialysis catheters once a week may reduce the incidence of catheter malfunctions and infections. rt–PA is normally used to break up stroke–causing clots in the brain. However, when researchers used this drug in dialysis catheters instead of heparin after one of three dialysis sessions a week, the rate of catheter malfunction dropped from 35% to 20%. In addition, the infection rate was 4.5% in the group that received rt–PA compared to 13% for the group treated only with heparin.

rt–PA reduces the rates of catheter malfunction by about 50% and infections by almost two–thirds reports the study published in the Jan. 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dr KK Aggarwal
Editor in Chief